Digital Efficiency for AA Asphalting, a Pacific Northwest Company
BY Dharmesh Godha
AA Asphalting LLC, headquartered in Sumner, Washington, one of the largest asphalt and concrete restoration companies in the Pacific Northwest, services businesses and organizations throughout Washington and Oregon. The company has experienced substantial growth over the years and determined that its technical infrastructure needed modernization to better support its expanding operations.
The company chose Advaiya, a technology consulting and implementation services company based in Bellevue, Washington, as its partner for transforming its business from paper-based to digital.
Along with being primarily paper-driven, the company’s work processes, scheduling, assigning field personnel and data entry were all manual-based and complex.
“Our company has experienced impressive growth over the years and some staff knew how to navigate our systems very well to get the information they needed,” said Ben Foster, CTO at AA Asphalting. “However, getting down to job-level detail for some could be challenging, and that meant they had to spend too much time researching for information. Our systems worked for us, but certainly, nowhere near the level of detail that they do now, not even close.”
Phase one began with modernizing Field Service in four areas:
- Leveraging Technology: Advaiya recommended that AA Asphalting aggregate its information and data, implement productivity solutions, and move identified data and processes to a Cloud platform.
- Strengthening Work Management: Leveraging technology to improve project management delivery and artifact creation.
- Improving Records Management: Improve systems for better storage, recording, use and retention of records.
- Streamlining Workflow: Streamline the creation and subsequent billing and reporting via digitization and automation.
Phase two focused on digitizing the accounting and financial infrastructure by integrating control systems between field service and finance and to upgrade from paper to digital. Specifically, these solutions were implemented to modernize operations:
Solution for Field Services: Advaiya selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service to help with manual processing and delays in retrieving insights. Microsoft Dynamics 365 was chosen given its scalability and to improve functional lines. The solution also allows a business to move from reactive to proactive decision making, as well as predictive analysis to help anticipate and determine future growth opportunities.
Solution for Accounting and Finance: Advaiya implemented a cloud-based ERP solution—Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Power BI for visualization. This upgrade improved time-tracking and payroll systems and delivered a single platform for cohesive integration of data.
Solution for Sales and Marketing: AA Asphalting and Advaiya increased the value of the Dynamics 365 platform solution by adopting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales as the CRM application. Leveraging the same platform allows for seamless integration with their Field Services solution and workflows.
Digital Road Leads to New Frontier for Field Services
Improvements were made to Field Service by instituting better controls over scheduling, priority, and capacity; providing field service technicians with needed skills, tools, and parts; and an easy-to-use mobile application.
In summary, the Field Service solution delivered:
- Digitization of work orders using standard workflow
- Optimization of resource scheduling and dispatch
- Automating work-order lifecycle to manage the transition from open to closed state
- Mobile and Tablet Enablement
- Document Management
- Cloud – Microsoft Dynamics 365-based solution
“Having an aging server was a pain point for us as we had to manage a growing amount of work data with systems across two states that needed to be routed back to our local server,” Foster said. “Now we have all our information integrated into one system, and better yet, it’s all cloud-based. This configuration has enabled us to really streamline our processes and remove any obstacles that were standing in our way to fast, efficient workflow.”
The digitization of business documentation has had a strong impact on the overall operations. Digital transformation has removed most paper dependency, redundancy of data entry, and provides one record of the truth to strengthen reporting and analysis.
The days of shuffling papers at AA Asphalting are a thing of the past as the company has reinvented itself into a modernized organization. Long-standing processes that had become dated have been chiseled away to make room for a thriving digital enterprise that is more agile, more efficient and ready to pave the future across the Pacific Northwest.
Dharmesh Godha is the president and CTO of Advaiya, a technology consulting and implementation services company.